REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0069.v1
Subject: Biology, Agricultural Sciences & Agronomy Keywords: microbiome; golf turf; turfgrasses; biocontrol; microbial communities; endophytes
Online: 6 December 2021 (12:19:16 CET)
Golf courses have a significant environmental impact. High water demands and the intensive use of agricultural chemicals have been a concern for decades and are therefore in the focus of efforts to make golf courses more environmentally sustainable. Products based on modifying or using plant-associated microbiota are one of the fastest growing sectors in agriculture, but their application on turfgrasses on golf courses is so far negligible. In this review, we summarize the limited knowledge on microbiomes of golf turf ecosystems and show that the lack of holistic studies addressing structure and function of golf turf microbiomes, including their responses to intense turf management procedures, is currently the main bottleneck for development and improvement of reliable, well-functioning microbial products. We further highlight the endosphere of turfgrasses, which is easily accessible for microbial cultivation through constant mowing, as the most stable and protected micro-environment. Many grass species do possess endophytic bacteria and fungi that have shown to improve the plants’ resistance towards microbial pathogens and insect pests, and several products using endophyte-enhanced grass varieties are commercially successful. We anticipated that this trend would tee-off on golf courses, too, once a more comprehensive understanding of golf turf microbiomes is available.